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I'm Heather McGarrigle and this is my blog - a colourful celebration of culture, crafting and creativity in Northern Ireland and beyond.

I'm feeling Sew Darn Crafty...

I'm feeling Sew Darn Crafty...

I'm really excited to share my latest crafting project with you all! I have recently started a crafting social group in Lisburn called Sew Darn Crafty. Meeting in The Atlas Women's Centre every other Tuesday evening for the time being (going weekly soon, all being well), it's a small but growing group of crafters who meet up to enjoy a coffee and a chat with like-minded folks whilst working on their latest project.

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What I wanted this group to be - and already I see it happening - is a relaxed drop-in group for makers of all ability levels (including those who have never picked up a needle or yarn!).

In our midst we have a professional crocheter who sells at St George's Market, a jewellery maker who also dabbles in painting and batik, a couple of hobby crocheters, a learner knitter (that would be me!) and a craft newbie who has been getting to grips with making pompoms and even trying a bit of crochet!

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When I first rekindled my interest in crafting, I was intrigued by the 'stitch and bitch' groups that seemed to be popping up everywhere but was too scared to check one out. Was it OK to just show up? Should I bring anything with me? Would they be willing to help me learn, or would it just be a group of intimidatingly skilled people getting on with their own projects?

So I just got on with it by myself, occasionally going to family and friends for help and advice, and learning wherever I could. I went on to take part in my first sewing bee, complete a dressmaking course, participate in a knitting workshop and host a crafting table at Culture Night.

Doing these things cemented my feeling that progress in crafting - whilst it's a hugely enjoyable solo pursuit also - is greatly enhanced by shared experience with other people who are making things.

And Sew Darn Crafty was born - admittedly with a little gentle nudging from my very good friend and all-round creative enterpriser Amanda - founder of The Lisburn Creative Collective and events company Extravaga!

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As well as being a place for people who can already knit, sew or crochet, Sew Darn Crafty is a friendly group that welcomes anyone who wants to come along and have a go at some of these things for the first time.

There are always a few balls of yarn and crochet and knitting needles available, as well as a friendly face who'll get you started on something. My own experiences have made me keen to make this group newbie-friendly, but it's not a class, so don't expect structured tuition or the undivided attention of a 'teacher' all night.

However, if you are keen for a little guidance and support from others in a chilled and friendly group, I think you'll love Sew Darn Crafty. I already do!

As the group grows, we will be looking at the occasional workshop, class or joint project to provide some focused craft activities and tuition, so stay tuned.

The next meet up is a week today, Tuesday 28 October, Tuesday 4 November, after half term, at 6.15pm. All you need is £1 for the room, 50p if you want to grab a tea or coffee at the halfway point and any materials or projects you want to bring with you to work on.

There's also free wifi so feel free to bring your smartphone or tablet if you want to use the web to help with what you're making. Give the Facebook page a 'like' to stay up to date, and hopefully we'll see you there!

What's On This Week: 27 Oct - 02 Nov 2014

What's On This Week: 27 Oct - 02 Nov 2014

No prizes, but a winning night!

No prizes, but a winning night!